Virginia Employment Statistics

  • 278,440 employers
  • 3,892,375 employees
  • $1,120 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 1.7% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 2.0% above the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in Virginia, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 97.2% of employers run private companies in the state, BIGGER0.2% greater than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 2.8% of employers are government agencies: 0.7% work in a federal agency, 0.8% work for the state and 1.2% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
81.9% of employees work for a private company. This is 3.3% below the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 9.7% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 3.8% of the workers and the federal government employs 4.6%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (18.1%) is 3.3% higher than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in Virginia is $1,120 per week, which is 1.7% less than the national average of $1,101 per week. Virginia workers that are employed by private businesses earn $1,113 per week, 1.2% greater than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in Virginia earn $1,847 per week, a premium of 65.9% compared to what employees of private companies earn. The chart below illustrates the average weekly by type of employer.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 15.2% of the businesses in the state. Healthcare (14.4%) and Other services (13.0%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Professional services42,37615.2%
Healthcare40,08714.4%
Other services36,23313.0%
Retail trade25,8589.3%
Construction21,5227.7%
Accommodation and food services17,3876.2%
Waste services14,2535.1%
Finance and insurance11,9214.3%
Unclassified11,6834.2%
Wholesale trade11,5574.2%
Real estate and rental10,0233.6%
Manufacturing6,7522.4%
Transport and warehousing5,4221.9%
Information4,3841.6%
Educational services3,4851.3%
Arts and entertainment3,1071.1%
Company management2,2590.8%
Agriculture and forestry1,7920.6%
Utilities3650.1%
Mining and oil extraction3130.1%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 11.3% of the employees in the state. Professional services (11.0%) and Retail trade (10.6%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Healthcare440,26511.3%
Professional services427,72411.0%
Retail trade411,59110.6%
Accommodation and food services350,7549.0%
Waste services242,7896.2%
Manufacturing238,6336.1%
Construction197,2255.1%
Other services145,5463.7%
Finance and insurance139,7573.6%
Transport and warehousing117,7363.0%
Wholesale trade109,7012.8%
Company management75,7781.9%
Information67,0311.7%
Educational services65,0811.7%
Arts and entertainment55,3631.4%
Real estate and rental54,9621.4%
Unclassified17,4180.4%
Agriculture and forestry13,3700.3%
Utilities10,7710.3%
Mining and oil extraction5,8950.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,428per week compared with the state average of $1,113. Utilities ($2,209) and Professional services ($2,031) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Company management$2,428218.1%
Utilities$2,209198.5%
Professional services$2,031182.5%
Information$1,936173.9%
Finance and insurance$1,868167.8%
Wholesale trade$1,580142.0%
Mining and oil extraction$1,413127.0%
Manufacturing$1,153103.6%
Construction$1,116100.3%
Real estate and rental$1,08997.8%
Transport and warehousing$99189.0%
Healthcare$97087.2%
Educational services$84776.1%
Waste services$83775.2%
Other services$82373.9%
Unclassified$82273.9%
Agriculture and forestry$68161.2%
Retail trade$57051.2%
Arts and entertainment$51846.5%
Accommodation and food services$37934.1%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Virginia. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 7.3% of the businesses in the state (with 20,304 employing 28,805 workers). Private households (6.9%) and Computer systems design and related services (5.3%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Services for the elderly and disabled20,3041.4
Private households19,1280.9
Computer systems design and related services14,83711.2
Restaurants and other eating places14,41519.7
Unclassified11,6831.5
Management consulting services7,1099.5
Residential building construction5,2944.1
Offices of physicians4,97514.5
Offices of lawyers3,7596.1
Wholesale trade agents and brokers3,6674.6


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 7.3% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 283,541 in 14,415 businesses, there are 19.7 employees on average in each of these businesses. Computer systems design and related services (4.3%) and General medical and surgical hospitals (2.5%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places283,54119.7
Computer systems design and related services166,31311.2
General medical and surgical hospitals97,997487.5
Management of companies and enterprises75,77833.5
Offices of physicians72,29614.5
Supermarkets and other grocery stores67,95350.9
Management consulting services67,5219.5
Temporary help services64,03227.7
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters54,44937.0
Engineering services46,07017.2


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Other depository credit intermediation, paying $10,059 compared with the state average of $1,113. Other financial vehicles ($5,259) and Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,830) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Other depository credit intermediation$10,059903.8
Other financial vehicles$5,259472.5
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,830344.1
Portfolio management$3,809342.2
Motion picture and video distribution$3,718334.1
Securities brokerage$3,601323.5
Trusts estates and agency accounts$3,475312.2
Spectator sports$3,332299.4
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$3,330299.2
Investment advice$3,318298.1


Company Size

Virginia Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Virginia by far. 64.4% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 257,408 small businesses in the state represent 95.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.6%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) The pie chart below illustrates the ratio of business sizes.

Virginia Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 104.4% of all employees, which is 34.0% lower than the national average of 138.4%. Smallest companies also employ a lower percentage of the states workforce than the largest companies. The solopreneur (those that employ fewer than 5) companies employ 87.0% of all workers, which is 4.5% lower than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 533.9% of the labor force in the state, 16.1% less than the national average of 550.0%.

Virginia Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Virginia (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 6.3% more than the national average ($1,041 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in Virginia (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 6.1% workers below the national average ($1,773 per week as compared to the national average of $1,882 per week).



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.